I HATE self checkout stands, and they are everywhere now....even the library! I remember when they first put them in library...I was a teenager and I'm pretty sure I cried a little bit. Now grocery stores have them. Today I went to the bank...it wasn't the branch I usually use. I walked in the door and was greeted by a wall of ATM machines.
OK, they weren't exactly like ATM's. More like the machines in the bank drive through. You put your transaction in the little tube, send it through the tunnel, and wait for the teller to talk to you over a little speaker. It made me very sad! I am a people person. I like meaningless small talk in a check out line. I enjoy greeting someone with a smile. I love awkward moments! I store them away to write about or tell someone about later. I love things that are personal...that force you to connect with a total stranger, even if it's just for a few seconds. But now, the laziness of our society is trying to take these things away from me. When I walk into Wal-Mart and see rows and rows of self checkout machines, I really see a sign that says "you have two hands, do it yourself".
I've always dreamed of living in a small town, the kind where everyone knows each other. A place where you can borrow sugar from your neighbor and not have to be afraid that you will get raped if you walk to the store. I don't want to live in a world where security is found in a cell phone. Where self confidence is acquired as the number of facebook friends increases. Where kids watch TV instead of reading a book or playing in the yard.
Often, when I am in the library, working at a catered event, or in a coffee shop I like to create scenarios in my mind. "What if a natural disaster where to strike right now, and all these people where trapped in this room together for a length of time?" Who would be the leader? Who would cause trouble? Who would fall in love? So often we sit in a room full of strangers for hours and never connect. Pathetic, right?
I'm going to end this rant with a quote from my favorite movie.
"What's so wrong with being personal, anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal!"